The Green-headed Tanager is one of the most common and widely distributed species of Tangara in the forests of southeastern Brazil; its distribution also extends into southeastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. Green-headed Tanagers forage in the canopy of humid forest and forest edge, and also enter adjacent second-growth, where they may forage closer to the ground. They usually travel in small flocks, either on their own or in association with a larger mixed-species flock. The diet consists both of fruit and arthropods; when foraging for arthropods, they hop along slender to medium-sized branches, and glean prey from branch surfaces and from leaves. The sister species to the Green-headed Tanager is the Seven-colored Tanager (Tangara fastuosa), a similar tanager found in northeastern Brazil. Although the behavior and plumage pattern of the Green-headed and Seven-colored tanagers are similar to those of the Paradise Tanager (Tangara chilensis) of Amazonia, these two species are not closely related to the Paradise Tanager. Instead, the Green-headed and Seven-colored tanagers are part of small radiation of tanagers that are not similar to one another in appearance, but all are endemic to the Atlantic Forest region; the other members of this group are the Red-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanocephala), the Brassy-breasted Tanager (Tangara desmaresti), and the Gilt-edged Tanager (Tangara cyanoventris).